GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

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GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Dominick Samperi-3
This post asks members of the R community, users and developers,
to comment on issues related to the GNU Public License
and R community policies more generally.

The GPL says very little about protecting the the rights of original
contributors by not disseminating  misleading information about them.
Indeed, for pragmatic reasons it effectively assumes that original authors
have no rights regarding their GPL-ed software, and it implicitly leaves
it up to the community of developers and users to conduct themselves in a
fair and
reasonable manner.

After discussing these matters with Richard Stallman I think
we more-or-less agreed that a GPL "copyright" notice is nothing
more than a way to deputise people to serve as protectors of the
principles of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It has nothing to
do with protecting the "rights" or the "ideas" of original
contributors. There is no peer review, no requirement to
explain your contributions, and anybody can essentially
do as they please with the software provided they retain
the copyright/FSF deputy notice---of course, you can
always work-around this last restriction by modifying the
implementation and placing it in a new file, because
nobody is checking (GPL doesn't require it).

The GPL is all about "freedom", not responsibility. It is entirely
focused on "deregulation", not on the protection of intellectual
property or professional reputations. It serves the useful purpose
of making great software more widely available, but it does not
dictate how people should behave and should not be used
as a moral compass.  (See recent book titled
"You are not a gadget: a manifesto", a rejoinder to the
GNU manifesto.)

As a counterbalance I think the community of developers and
users need to play a more active role in the evolution of
shared values and expectations. In this spirit I respectfully request
that the R community consider the following.

The author line of the latest release of the R package
Rcpp (0.8.9) was revised as follows:

From: "based on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"

To: "a small portion of the code is based on code written during 2005 and
2006 by Dominick Samperi"

As it is highly unusual (and largely impossible) to quantify the relative
size of the the contribution made by each author of GPL'ed software, this
has
effectively changed an acknowledgment into a disparaging remark. It
is also misleading, because I am the original creator of the Rcpp library
and package (it was forked by Dirk Eddelbuettel and is now effectively
part of R core development). Incidentally, the README file for
Rcpp 0.6.7 shows that my contributions and influence were not
confined to the period 2005-2006.

A look at the change history of Rcpp would quickly reveal that to be
fair other authors of Rcpp (and perhaps other R package authors)
should have their contributions qualified with "a small portion of the
code",
or "administered by", but this is precisely the kind of monitoring that
inspired Richard Stallman to say we must "chuck the masks" in the
GNU Manifesto.

It is obviously a great benefit for the R community to have Rcpp actively
supported by the R core team. I am very grateful for this. What I do
have a problem with is the fact that my contributions are disparaged
by people who have benefited from my past work.

It seems to me that there are two possible resolutions. First, if my
name is used in the Rcpp package it should be used to provide fair,
accurate, and courteous acknowledgement for my past contributions.
Second, if this is not possible, then my name should not be used at all.
If the second option is selected then the only place my name should
appear is in the copyright ("deputy") notices.

Incidentally, the fact that the word "copyright" is profoundly misleading in
the context of GPL is not a new idea, and the word "copyleft" is
sometimes used instead. But copyleft is not used in source files
because this would unlink GPL from the well-established legal
framework associated with "copyright", making it more difficult for
the FSF to enforce its principles (the critical link is provided by
the copyright holders or "deputies").

A final clarification: authors of original works do retain a legal
copyright on  their original work in the sense that they are free
to modify this work and release it as non-free software (or
under a different free license), but this has no effect on the
version that was released under GPL. The latter version and
all of its progeny belong to the public (or to the FSF from
a legal point of view).

Please feel free to express your opinion on these matters.

Thanks,
Dominick

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Dominick Samperi-3
On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 2:53 PM, Douglas Bates <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Against my better judgement I will try to correct a misconception.  I
> fear that my message will only fan the flames but  I also think that
> if we are to be subjected to long, drawn out, personal attacks on this
> subject then the readers of this list are entitled to facts instead of
> speculation.
>
> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 1:06 PM, Dominick Samperi <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 1:46 PM, Gavin Simpson <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> On Wed, 2010-12-01 at 13:21 -0500, Dominick Samperi wrote:
> >> > This post asks members of the R community, users and developers,
> >> > to comment on issues related to the GNU Public License
> >> > and R community policies more generally.
> >> >
> >> <snip/>
> >> > As a counterbalance I think the community of developers and
> >> > users need to play a more active role in the evolution of
> >> > shared values and expectations. In this spirit I respectfully request
> >> > that the R community consider the following.
> >>
> >> I don't think there is much relevance /here/ (R-devel) to your spat with
> >> the Rcpp developers. You released the package under a permissive licence
> >> and people took up its development after it lay dormant for a long time.
> >>
> >> As I understand it Rcpp has moved on leaps and bounds of late and the
> >> current code base is quite well removed from your original. That being
> >> so, the line you quote would seem to be a fair reflection of the current
> >> state of the package.
> >>
> >> I do not read into it anything disparaging and would suggest that it is
> >> your own personal displeasure at the way your work has been taken and
> >> improved/altered that is colouring your views on this particular point.
> >>
> >> Also, I wasn't aware that Rcpp was now part of R Core Development. I was
> >> aware that Rcpp now uses some of the new reference class code added in
> >> the latest version of R. If I have missed something, great. The Rcpp
> >> stuff I have seen recently looks great and I see it being used in
> >> several packages.
> >
> > Obviously members of the R core team have been added to the author
> > list. I think this answers your question.
>
> What you say (members of the R core development team are listed as
> contributors to the current Rcpp package) is true.  Your inference
> that Rcpp is now part of R Core Development is not.  John Chambers and
> I are participating in the development of Rcpp as individuals, not on
> behalf of R Core.
>
> Making wild accusations based on misconceptions will only serve to
> discredit you.
>
> If I were in your position I would reflect upon the fact that you have
> been making strong assertions with respect to the history and future
> of Rcpp for many months and very few, if any, R developers have
> stepped forward in support of your claims.
>

Thanks for the feedback Doug,

On the R Core involvement that sounds like a semantic point. I
do appreciate you contributions, however you call them.

I am well-aware of the fact that I am not likely to receive much
support from people on the rcpp-devel mailing list as this is a
captive audience who would not want to stop the flow. That is
why I have added back r-devel, and I would add r-users
and r-policy as well if they existed.

Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
authors, and as more progress is made, even more
disparaging remarks can be added.

While I would like to hear feedback from the larger community
on this matter (as it may encourage me to contribute), I
probably have to accept the fact that my name will not
be used in the Rcpp package in a fair and unbiased way.

Thus I have offered option two: do not refer to my name
in the Rcpp package. In this way there will be no need
to update the author line as more progress is made.

Thanks again,
Dominick


> > I do not deny that great progress has been made, but that does not
> > give the developers the right to impugn my work. Are you saying it
> > is proper to deprecate the contribution of past authors, and that
> > the extent of this deprecation should be proportional to the amount
> > of progress made? Should we add this to the list of R community
> > policies? Are all users in agreement with this policy?
> >
> > As I said, an easy resolution is simply to not refer to my
> > name in the Rcpp package at all.
> >
> >>
> >> Please grind this particular axe elsewhere.
> >>
> >> All the best,
> >>
> >> Gavin
> >>
> >> > The author line of the latest release of the R package
> >> > Rcpp (0.8.9) was revised as follows:
> >> >
> >> > From: "based on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
> >> >
> >> > To: "a small portion of the code is based on code written during 2005
> >> > and
> >> > 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
> >> >
> >> > As it is highly unusual (and largely impossible) to quantify the
> >> > relative
> >> > size of the the contribution made by each author of GPL'ed software,
> >> > this
> >> > has
> >> > effectively changed an acknowledgment into a disparaging remark. It
> >> > is also misleading, because I am the original creator of the Rcpp
> >> > library
> >> > and package (it was forked by Dirk Eddelbuettel and is now effectively
> >> > part of R core development). Incidentally, the README file for
> >> > Rcpp 0.6.7 shows that my contributions and influence were not
> >> > confined to the period 2005-2006.
> >> >
> >> > A look at the change history of Rcpp would quickly reveal that to be
> >> > fair other authors of Rcpp (and perhaps other R package authors)
> >> > should have their contributions qualified with "a small portion of the
> >> > code",
> >> > or "administered by", but this is precisely the kind of monitoring
> that
> >> > inspired Richard Stallman to say we must "chuck the masks" in the
> >> > GNU Manifesto.
> >> >
> >> > It is obviously a great benefit for the R community to have Rcpp
> >> > actively
> >> > supported by the R core team. I am very grateful for this. What I do
> >> > have a problem with is the fact that my contributions are disparaged
> >> > by people who have benefited from my past work.
> >> >
> >> > It seems to me that there are two possible resolutions. First, if my
> >> > name is used in the Rcpp package it should be used to provide fair,
> >> > accurate, and courteous acknowledgement for my past contributions.
> >> > Second, if this is not possible, then my name should not be used at
> all.
> >> > If the second option is selected then the only place my name should
> >> > appear is in the copyright ("deputy") notices.
> >> >
> >> > Incidentally, the fact that the word "copyright" is profoundly
> >> > misleading in
> >> > the context of GPL is not a new idea, and the word "copyleft" is
> >> > sometimes used instead. But copyleft is not used in source files
> >> > because this would unlink GPL from the well-established legal
> >> > framework associated with "copyright", making it more difficult for
> >> > the FSF to enforce its principles (the critical link is provided by
> >> > the copyright holders or "deputies").
> >> >
> >> > A final clarification: authors of original works do retain a legal
> >> > copyright on  their original work in the sense that they are free
> >> > to modify this work and release it as non-free software (or
> >> > under a different free license), but this has no effect on the
> >> > version that was released under GPL. The latter version and
> >> > all of its progeny belong to the public (or to the FSF from
> >> > a legal point of view).
> >> >
> >> > Please feel free to express your opinion on these matters.
> >> >
> >> > Thanks,
> >> > Dominick
> >> >
> >> >       [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
> >> >
> >> > ______________________________________________
> >> > [hidden email] mailing list
> >> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
> >>
> >> --
> >> %~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%
> >>  Dr. Gavin Simpson             [t] +44 (0)20 7679 0522
> >>  ECRC, UCL Geography,          [f] +44 (0)20 7679 0565
> >>  Pearson Building,             [e] gavin.simpsonATNOSPAMucl.ac.uk
> >>  Gower Street, London          [w] http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucfagls/<http://www.ucl.ac.uk/%7Eucfagls/>
> >>  UK. WC1E 6BT.                 [w] http://www.freshwaters.org.uk
> >> %~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%
> >>
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Rcpp-devel mailing list
> > [hidden email]
> > https://lists.r-forge.r-project.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/rcpp-devel
> >
> >
>

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Hadley Wickham-2
> Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
> policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
> thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
> for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
> authors, and as more progress is made, even more
> disparaging remarks can be added.

What is disparaging about saying "a small portion of the code is based
on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"? I read this
as a factual statement saying that the current version of Rcpp is
based on, in a small way, your earlier work.

For reference, a disparaging comment would be something like: "This
package was based code written by Hadley Wickham that made my eyes
bleed", or "The development of this package was driven by the godawful
code that Hadley wrote".

Hadley

--
Assistant Professor / Dobelman Family Junior Chair
Department of Statistics / Rice University
http://had.co.nz/

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Joris FA Meys
In reply to this post by Dominick Samperi-3
On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 9:45 PM, Dominick Samperi <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
> policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
> thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
> for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
> authors, and as more progress is made, even more
> disparaging remarks can be added.
>
I agree with Hadley that the remark can hardly be seen as disparaging.
As mainly an R user, I am quite surprised to find out that the rcpp
package originates from you though, so I can understand you would
personally like a line in the sense of

"this package has been originally written by Dominick Samperi in 2005-2006"

But then again, apparently quite a lot changed, so that would -again-
leave a wrong impression and downweigh the effort done by others more
recently. If only the name and a small portion of the code remained,
well, so be it. Seems correct to put it that way. Frankly said: It
ain't your package any more, it's a whole different thing.

Whether or not deprecating the earlier efforts is a policy, is highly
debatable. It seems more a matter of common sense to me: mention the
authors of the _present_ code. And as it goes, I for one am not going
to set "policies" or "politeness rules" in the R community or any
other.

Now personally, I sign the work I do, send it into the world, and
don't bother once I stopped contributing. People who need to know what
I'm worth, will see that in my recent and ongoing work. About all the
rest, I couldn't be bothered less. Seems more healthy for the heart to
me. Then again, I don't care that much about reputation anyway. I'd
like to see my work used, rather than being praised for it. (this is a
general remark, not directed towards you!)

Cheers
Joris
--
Joris Meys
Statistical consultant

Ghent University
Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
Department of Applied mathematics, biometrics and process control

tel : +32 9 264 59 87
[hidden email]
-------------------------------
Disclaimer : http://helpdesk.ugent.be/e-maildisclaimer.php

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Gabor Grothendieck
In reply to this post by Hadley Wickham-2
On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM, Hadley Wickham <[hidden email]> wrote:

>> Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
>> policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
>> thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
>> for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
>> authors, and as more progress is made, even more
>> disparaging remarks can be added.
>
> What is disparaging about saying "a small portion of the code is based
> on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"? I read this
> as a factual statement saying that the current version of Rcpp is
> based on, in a small way, your earlier work.
>
> For reference, a disparaging comment would be something like: "This
> package was based code written by Hadley Wickham that made my eyes
> bleed", or "The development of this package was driven by the godawful
> code that Hadley wrote".
>


Its very difficult to truly assess relative contributions when you mix
in design, coding, level of effort, promotion, etc.   I would not
focus on the single word "disparaging".  I think the poster simply
used the wrong word and perhaps what he meant was more along the lines
of: as the creator of the package he presumably set the design (or
significant elements of the design) for all subsequent work and in
that respect even if its true that the number of lines he generated is
relatively small compared to the current package, that phrase gives
the misleading impression that his contribution was also small.  There
is a difference between something that is true and non-misleading and
something that is true and misleading.

--
Statistics & Software Consulting
GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
email: ggrothendieck at gmail.com

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Dominick Samperi-3
On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 6:37 PM, Gabor Grothendieck
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM, Hadley Wickham <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
> >> policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
> >> thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
> >> for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
> >> authors, and as more progress is made, even more
> >> disparaging remarks can be added.
> >
> > What is disparaging about saying "a small portion of the code is based
> > on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"? I read this
> > as a factual statement saying that the current version of Rcpp is
> > based on, in a small way, your earlier work.
> >
> > For reference, a disparaging comment would be something like: "This
> > package was based code written by Hadley Wickham that made my eyes
> > bleed", or "The development of this package was driven by the godawful
> > code that Hadley wrote".
> >
>
>
> Its very difficult to truly assess relative contributions when you mix
> in design, coding, level of effort, promotion, etc.   I would not
> focus on the single word "disparaging".  I think the poster simply
> used the wrong word and perhaps what he meant was more along the lines
> of: as the creator of the package he presumably set the design (or
> significant elements of the design) for all subsequent work and in
> that respect even if its true that the number of lines he generated is
> relatively small compared to the current package, that phrase gives
> the misleading impression that his contribution was also small.  There
> is a difference between something that is true and non-misleading and
> something that is true and misleading.
>

There is an important element of this discussion that is being overlooked,
namely, the timing. If indeed my contributions were minimal (and they
were not for the reasons you suggest) then why was it decided now,
for this particular release, to update my status? Why not the last
release? What changed? There were only a few new features added
to this release. What made the difference?

More importantly, as I suggested in my original post, this practice
sets an absurd precedent, one that motivated Stallman to write
the GNU manifesto (where he used the oxygen mask metaphor).
Should we reevaluate all contributors, present or past, and
adjust the level of deprecation on the
author line appropriately before each release?

I suspect that I have contributed far more than some of the
people listed on the author line. Does this mean that their
contributions should be discounted accordingly? If not,
why not?

Thanks for your courage. People who send supportive comments
tend to send them off-list, not wanting to state them publicly.

Dominick


> --
> Statistics & Software Consulting
> GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
> tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
> email: ggrothendieck at gmail.com
>

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Gabor Grothendieck
On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 7:20 PM, Dominick Samperi <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 6:37 PM, Gabor Grothendieck <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>>
>> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM, Hadley Wickham <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> >> Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
>> >> policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
>> >> thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
>> >> for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
>> >> authors, and as more progress is made, even more
>> >> disparaging remarks can be added.
>> >
>> > What is disparaging about saying "a small portion of the code is based
>> > on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"? I read this
>> > as a factual statement saying that the current version of Rcpp is
>> > based on, in a small way, your earlier work.
>> >
>> > For reference, a disparaging comment would be something like: "This
>> > package was based code written by Hadley Wickham that made my eyes
>> > bleed", or "The development of this package was driven by the godawful
>> > code that Hadley wrote".
>> >
>>
>>
>> Its very difficult to truly assess relative contributions when you mix
>> in design, coding, level of effort, promotion, etc.   I would not
>> focus on the single word "disparaging".  I think the poster simply
>> used the wrong word and perhaps what he meant was more along the lines
>> of: as the creator of the package he presumably set the design (or
>> significant elements of the design) for all subsequent work and in
>> that respect even if its true that the number of lines he generated is
>> relatively small compared to the current package, that phrase gives
>> the misleading impression that his contribution was also small.  There
>> is a difference between something that is true and non-misleading and
>> something that is true and misleading.
>
> There is an important element of this discussion that is being overlooked,
> namely, the timing. If indeed my contributions were minimal (and they
> were not for the reasons you suggest) then why was it decided now,
> for this particular release, to update my status? Why not the last
> release? What changed? There were only a few new features added
> to this release. What made the difference?
>
> More importantly, as I suggested in my original post, this practice
> sets an absurd precedent, one that motivated Stallman to write
> the GNU manifesto (where he used the oxygen mask metaphor).
> Should we reevaluate all contributors, present or past, and
> adjust the level of deprecation on the
> author line appropriately before each release?
>
> I suspect that I have contributed far more than some of the
> people listed on the author line. Does this mean that their
> contributions should be discounted accordingly? If not,
> why not?
>
> Thanks for your courage. People who send supportive comments
> tend to send them off-list, not wanting to state them publicly.
>

Just to be clear I have never used the package and am not truly
commenting on this particular case but only the general ideas in this
thread.  Also I was not suggesting that the comments in the code were
purposefully misleading, only that they might be misleading since they
could be interpreted in terms of contribution even though they are
stated in terms of lines of code.  The author of the phrase may very
well have felt that the current team had done a lot of work to add
design ideas and develop and promote the software but perhaps the
unfortunate way in how it was expressed in that phrase that came out
as a seeming comment on the original creator's contribution rather
than the intended comment on their own, presumably also significant,
contribution.

--
Statistics & Software Consulting
GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
email: ggrothendieck at gmail.com

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Spencer Graves-2
In reply to this post by Dominick Samperi-3
Hi, Dominick, et al.:


       I know nothing about about Rcpp, it's history and the
contributions of Dominick and anyone else.  I think everyone should be
appropriately recognized for their contributions.


       However, I feel compelled to briefly outline personal experiences
with collaborators who were so concerned that their contribution be
properly recognized that it limited our success.  To successfully
commercialize the ideas, we needed the collaboration of others.  
However, my collaborators' excessive concern about getting "their share"
made it exceedingly and unreasonably difficult to obtain the extra help
we needed.


       A famous example of this was the Wright Brothers.  They  invented
the airplane and spent much of the rest of their lives trying to defend
their patent.  Wilbur was dead long before it was settled, and Orville
got so little from it that it was clearly a massive waste of their
time.  Moreover, "The legal threat suppressed development of the U.S.
aviation industry."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wright_brothers_patent_war)


       I sincerely hope that this present discussion can be settled in a
way that does not damage the incredibly productive collaboration that
has made R the overwhelming success it is.  The future of humanity is
brighter because R makes it easier (a) for scientists to better
understand the things they study and (b) for common people to better
understand and manage the problems they face.


       Best Wishes,
       Spencer Graves


On 12/1/2010 4:20 PM, Dominick Samperi wrote:

> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 6:37 PM, Gabor Grothendieck
> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
>> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM, Hadley Wickham<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>>>> Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
>>>> policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
>>>> thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
>>>> for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
>>>> authors, and as more progress is made, even more
>>>> disparaging remarks can be added.
>>> What is disparaging about saying "a small portion of the code is based
>>> on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"? I read this
>>> as a factual statement saying that the current version of Rcpp is
>>> based on, in a small way, your earlier work.
>>>
>>> For reference, a disparaging comment would be something like: "This
>>> package was based code written by Hadley Wickham that made my eyes
>>> bleed", or "The development of this package was driven by the godawful
>>> code that Hadley wrote".
>>>
>>
>> Its very difficult to truly assess relative contributions when you mix
>> in design, coding, level of effort, promotion, etc.   I would not
>> focus on the single word "disparaging".  I think the poster simply
>> used the wrong word and perhaps what he meant was more along the lines
>> of: as the creator of the package he presumably set the design (or
>> significant elements of the design) for all subsequent work and in
>> that respect even if its true that the number of lines he generated is
>> relatively small compared to the current package, that phrase gives
>> the misleading impression that his contribution was also small.  There
>> is a difference between something that is true and non-misleading and
>> something that is true and misleading.
>>
> There is an important element of this discussion that is being overlooked,
> namely, the timing. If indeed my contributions were minimal (and they
> were not for the reasons you suggest) then why was it decided now,
> for this particular release, to update my status? Why not the last
> release? What changed? There were only a few new features added
> to this release. What made the difference?
>
> More importantly, as I suggested in my original post, this practice
> sets an absurd precedent, one that motivated Stallman to write
> the GNU manifesto (where he used the oxygen mask metaphor).
> Should we reevaluate all contributors, present or past, and
> adjust the level of deprecation on the
> author line appropriately before each release?
>
> I suspect that I have contributed far more than some of the
> people listed on the author line. Does this mean that their
> contributions should be discounted accordingly? If not,
> why not?
>
> Thanks for your courage. People who send supportive comments
> tend to send them off-list, not wanting to state them publicly.
>
> Dominick
>
>
>> --
>> Statistics&  Software Consulting
>> GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
>> tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
>> email: ggrothendieck at gmail.com
>>
> [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Spencer Graves-2
In reply to this post by Gabor Grothendieck
Hi, Dominick, et al.:


       I know nothing about about Rcpp, it's history and the
contributions of Dominick and anyone else.  I think everyone should be
appropriately recognized for their contributions.


       However, I feel compelled to briefly outline personal experiences
with collaborators who were so concerned that their contribution be
properly recognized that it limited our success.  To successfully
commercialize the ideas, we needed the collaboration of others.  
However, my collaborators' excessive concern about getting "their share"
made it exceedingly and unreasonably difficult to obtain the extra help
we needed.


       A famous example of this was the Wright Brothers.  They  invented
the airplane and spent much of the rest of their lives trying to defend
their patent.  Wilbur was dead long before it was settled, and Orville
got so little from it that it was clearly a massive waste of their
time.  Moreover, "The legal threat suppressed development of the U.S.
aviation industry."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wright_brothers_patent_war)


       I sincerely hope that this present discussion can be settled in a
way that does not damage the incredibly productive collaboration that
has made R the overwhelming success it is.  The future of humanity is
brighter because R makes it easier (a) for scientists to better
understand the things they study and (b) for common people to better
understand and manage the problems they face.


       Best Wishes,
       Spencer Graves


On 12/1/2010 4:55 PM, Gabor Grothendieck wrote:

> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 7:20 PM, Dominick Samperi<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 6:37 PM, Gabor Grothendieck<[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM, Hadley Wickham<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>>>>> Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
>>>>> policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
>>>>> thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
>>>>> for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
>>>>> authors, and as more progress is made, even more
>>>>> disparaging remarks can be added.
>>>> What is disparaging about saying "a small portion of the code is based
>>>> on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"? I read this
>>>> as a factual statement saying that the current version of Rcpp is
>>>> based on, in a small way, your earlier work.
>>>>
>>>> For reference, a disparaging comment would be something like: "This
>>>> package was based code written by Hadley Wickham that made my eyes
>>>> bleed", or "The development of this package was driven by the godawful
>>>> code that Hadley wrote".
>>>>
>>>
>>> Its very difficult to truly assess relative contributions when you mix
>>> in design, coding, level of effort, promotion, etc.   I would not
>>> focus on the single word "disparaging".  I think the poster simply
>>> used the wrong word and perhaps what he meant was more along the lines
>>> of: as the creator of the package he presumably set the design (or
>>> significant elements of the design) for all subsequent work and in
>>> that respect even if its true that the number of lines he generated is
>>> relatively small compared to the current package, that phrase gives
>>> the misleading impression that his contribution was also small.  There
>>> is a difference between something that is true and non-misleading and
>>> something that is true and misleading.
>> There is an important element of this discussion that is being overlooked,
>> namely, the timing. If indeed my contributions were minimal (and they
>> were not for the reasons you suggest) then why was it decided now,
>> for this particular release, to update my status? Why not the last
>> release? What changed? There were only a few new features added
>> to this release. What made the difference?
>>
>> More importantly, as I suggested in my original post, this practice
>> sets an absurd precedent, one that motivated Stallman to write
>> the GNU manifesto (where he used the oxygen mask metaphor).
>> Should we reevaluate all contributors, present or past, and
>> adjust the level of deprecation on the
>> author line appropriately before each release?
>>
>> I suspect that I have contributed far more than some of the
>> people listed on the author line. Does this mean that their
>> contributions should be discounted accordingly? If not,
>> why not?
>>
>> Thanks for your courage. People who send supportive comments
>> tend to send them off-list, not wanting to state them publicly.
>>
> Just to be clear I have never used the package and am not truly
> commenting on this particular case but only the general ideas in this
> thread.  Also I was not suggesting that the comments in the code were
> purposefully misleading, only that they might be misleading since they
> could be interpreted in terms of contribution even though they are
> stated in terms of lines of code.  The author of the phrase may very
> well have felt that the current team had done a lot of work to add
> design ideas and develop and promote the software but perhaps the
> unfortunate way in how it was expressed in that phrase that came out
> as a seeming comment on the original creator's contribution rather
> than the intended comment on their own, presumably also significant,
> contribution.
>


--
Spencer Graves, PE, PhD
President and Chief Operating Officer
Structure Inspection and Monitoring, Inc.
751 Emerson Ct.
San José, CA 95126
ph:  408-655-4567

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Dominick Samperi-3
In reply to this post by Gabor Grothendieck
On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 7:55 PM, Gabor Grothendieck
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 7:20 PM, Dominick Samperi <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> > On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 6:37 PM, Gabor Grothendieck <
> [hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >>
> >> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM, Hadley Wickham <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >> >> Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
> >> >> policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
> >> >> thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
> >> >> for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
> >> >> authors, and as more progress is made, even more
> >> >> disparaging remarks can be added.
> >> >
> >> > What is disparaging about saying "a small portion of the code is based
> >> > on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"? I read this
> >> > as a factual statement saying that the current version of Rcpp is
> >> > based on, in a small way, your earlier work.
> >> >
> >> > For reference, a disparaging comment would be something like: "This
> >> > package was based code written by Hadley Wickham that made my eyes
> >> > bleed", or "The development of this package was driven by the godawful
> >> > code that Hadley wrote".
> >> >
> >>
> >>
> >> Its very difficult to truly assess relative contributions when you mix
> >> in design, coding, level of effort, promotion, etc.   I would not
> >> focus on the single word "disparaging".  I think the poster simply
> >> used the wrong word and perhaps what he meant was more along the lines
> >> of: as the creator of the package he presumably set the design (or
> >> significant elements of the design) for all subsequent work and in
> >> that respect even if its true that the number of lines he generated is
> >> relatively small compared to the current package, that phrase gives
> >> the misleading impression that his contribution was also small.  There
> >> is a difference between something that is true and non-misleading and
> >> something that is true and misleading.
> >
> > There is an important element of this discussion that is being
> overlooked,
> > namely, the timing. If indeed my contributions were minimal (and they
> > were not for the reasons you suggest) then why was it decided now,
> > for this particular release, to update my status? Why not the last
> > release? What changed? There were only a few new features added
> > to this release. What made the difference?
> >
> > More importantly, as I suggested in my original post, this practice
> > sets an absurd precedent, one that motivated Stallman to write
> > the GNU manifesto (where he used the oxygen mask metaphor).
> > Should we reevaluate all contributors, present or past, and
> > adjust the level of deprecation on the
> > author line appropriately before each release?
> >
> > I suspect that I have contributed far more than some of the
> > people listed on the author line. Does this mean that their
> > contributions should be discounted accordingly? If not,
> > why not?
> >
> > Thanks for your courage. People who send supportive comments
> > tend to send them off-list, not wanting to state them publicly.
> >
>
> Just to be clear I have never used the package and am not truly
> commenting on this particular case but only the general ideas in this
> thread.  Also I was not suggesting that the comments in the code were
> purposefully misleading, only that they might be misleading since they
> could be interpreted in terms of contribution even though they are
> stated in terms of lines of code.  The author of the phrase may very
> well have felt that the current team had done a lot of work to add
> design ideas and develop and promote the software but perhaps the
> unfortunate way in how it was expressed in that phrase that came out
> as a seeming comment on the original creator's contribution rather
> than the intended comment on their own, presumably also significant,
> contribution.
>

There is no reason given why this
should happen now, at this moment, and no explanation why
the same standard should not be applied to other package authors,
including other authors of Rcpp.

This is not about this particular case, it is about "general ideas"
along the lines of your original post.

Thanks,
Dominick


>
> --
> Statistics & Software Consulting
> GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
> tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
> email: ggrothendieck at gmail.com
>

        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Dominick Samperi-3
In reply to this post by Spencer Graves-2
On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 8:19 PM, Spencer Graves <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi, Dominick, et al.:
>
>
>      I know nothing about about Rcpp, it's history and the contributions of
> Dominick and anyone else.  I think everyone should be appropriately
> recognized for their contributions.
>
>
>      However, I feel compelled to briefly outline personal experiences with
> collaborators who were so concerned that their contribution be properly
> recognized that it limited our success.  To successfully commercialize the
> ideas, we needed the collaboration of others.  However, my collaborators'
> excessive concern about getting "their share" made it exceedingly and
> unreasonably difficult to obtain the extra help we needed.
>
>
>      A famous example of this was the Wright Brothers.  They  invented the
> airplane and spent much of the rest of their lives trying to defend their
> patent.  Wilbur was dead long before it was settled, and Orville got so
> little from it that it was clearly a massive waste of their time.  Moreover,
> "The legal threat suppressed development of the U.S. aviation industry." (
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wright_brothers_patent_war)
>
>
>      I sincerely hope that this present discussion can be settled in a way
> that does not damage the incredibly productive collaboration that has made R
> the overwhelming success it is.  The future of humanity is brighter because
> R makes it easier (a) for scientists to better understand the things they
> study and (b) for common people to better understand and manage the problems
> they face.
>

Nicely said, and I agree. I think I made it clear in my original post that
this has nothing to do with patents or
intellectual property rights. Under GPL there are none. This does not mean
that I do not value GPL, but we shouldn't
let the pursuit of free software turn us into "gadgets".

Thanks,
Dominick


>
>      Best Wishes,
>      Spencer Graves
>
>
>
> On 12/1/2010 4:20 PM, Dominick Samperi wrote:
>
>> On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 6:37 PM, Gabor Grothendieck
>> <[hidden email]>wrote:
>>
>>  On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 5:18 PM, Hadley Wickham<[hidden email]>  wrote:
>>>
>>>> Perhaps a wider community of R users can weigh in on a
>>>>> policy decision that was implicitly deemed acceptable on this
>>>>> thread. Namely, that it is fine to arbitrarily and
>>>>> for no reason deprecate the contributions of past
>>>>> authors, and as more progress is made, even more
>>>>> disparaging remarks can be added.
>>>>>
>>>> What is disparaging about saying "a small portion of the code is based
>>>> on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"? I read this
>>>> as a factual statement saying that the current version of Rcpp is
>>>> based on, in a small way, your earlier work.
>>>>
>>>> For reference, a disparaging comment would be something like: "This
>>>> package was based code written by Hadley Wickham that made my eyes
>>>> bleed", or "The development of this package was driven by the godawful
>>>> code that Hadley wrote".
>>>>
>>>>
>>> Its very difficult to truly assess relative contributions when you mix
>>> in design, coding, level of effort, promotion, etc.   I would not
>>> focus on the single word "disparaging".  I think the poster simply
>>> used the wrong word and perhaps what he meant was more along the lines
>>> of: as the creator of the package he presumably set the design (or
>>> significant elements of the design) for all subsequent work and in
>>> that respect even if its true that the number of lines he generated is
>>> relatively small compared to the current package, that phrase gives
>>> the misleading impression that his contribution was also small.  There
>>> is a difference between something that is true and non-misleading and
>>> something that is true and misleading.
>>>
>>>  There is an important element of this discussion that is being
>> overlooked,
>> namely, the timing. If indeed my contributions were minimal (and they
>> were not for the reasons you suggest) then why was it decided now,
>> for this particular release, to update my status? Why not the last
>> release? What changed? There were only a few new features added
>> to this release. What made the difference?
>>
>> More importantly, as I suggested in my original post, this practice
>> sets an absurd precedent, one that motivated Stallman to write
>> the GNU manifesto (where he used the oxygen mask metaphor).
>> Should we reevaluate all contributors, present or past, and
>> adjust the level of deprecation on the
>> author line appropriately before each release?
>>
>> I suspect that I have contributed far more than some of the
>> people listed on the author line. Does this mean that their
>> contributions should be discounted accordingly? If not,
>> why not?
>>
>> Thanks for your courage. People who send supportive comments
>> tend to send them off-list, not wanting to state them publicly.
>>
>> Dominick
>>
>>
>>  --
>>> Statistics&  Software Consulting
>>> GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
>>> tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
>>> email: ggrothendieck at gmail.com
>>>
>>>         [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>>
>>

        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]

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Re: GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Adrian Dragulescu
In reply to this post by Dominick Samperi-3

Dominick,

I don't use the Rcpp package but I have been aware of the changes made to
the package over the years.

I don't see what you are after.  I don't consider the mention about
your contribution in the authors section disparaging in ANY way.  It seems
reasonable that as the code base grows, your initial contribution to have
a smaller and smaller share.  That's all it says.  If you would start
contributing again to the package development, I'm sure that line can be
changed.  Romain has gone from 0% to a sizeable share in a quick period
with some great contributions.  Other authors seem to find a way to
contribute to the project too.

If it's peer recognition you're after, everybody on this list is already
aware that you're the original developer of the package.  I personally
still have a good memory so I don't need another reminder email on this
topic.

I'm sure there are other projects that you can work on, alone or with
collaborators, that would benefit the R community.

Cheers,
Adrian




On Wed, 1 Dec 2010, Dominick Samperi wrote:

> This post asks members of the R community, users and developers,
> to comment on issues related to the GNU Public License
> and R community policies more generally.
>
> The GPL says very little about protecting the the rights of original
> contributors by not disseminating  misleading information about them.
> Indeed, for pragmatic reasons it effectively assumes that original authors
> have no rights regarding their GPL-ed software, and it implicitly leaves
> it up to the community of developers and users to conduct themselves in a
> fair and
> reasonable manner.
>
> After discussing these matters with Richard Stallman I think
> we more-or-less agreed that a GPL "copyright" notice is nothing
> more than a way to deputise people to serve as protectors of the
> principles of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It has nothing to
> do with protecting the "rights" or the "ideas" of original
> contributors. There is no peer review, no requirement to
> explain your contributions, and anybody can essentially
> do as they please with the software provided they retain
> the copyright/FSF deputy notice---of course, you can
> always work-around this last restriction by modifying the
> implementation and placing it in a new file, because
> nobody is checking (GPL doesn't require it).
>
> The GPL is all about "freedom", not responsibility. It is entirely
> focused on "deregulation", not on the protection of intellectual
> property or professional reputations. It serves the useful purpose
> of making great software more widely available, but it does not
> dictate how people should behave and should not be used
> as a moral compass.  (See recent book titled
> "You are not a gadget: a manifesto", a rejoinder to the
> GNU manifesto.)
>
> As a counterbalance I think the community of developers and
> users need to play a more active role in the evolution of
> shared values and expectations. In this spirit I respectfully request
> that the R community consider the following.
>
> The author line of the latest release of the R package
> Rcpp (0.8.9) was revised as follows:
>
> From: "based on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>
> To: "a small portion of the code is based on code written during 2005 and
> 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>
> As it is highly unusual (and largely impossible) to quantify the relative
> size of the the contribution made by each author of GPL'ed software, this
> has
> effectively changed an acknowledgment into a disparaging remark. It
> is also misleading, because I am the original creator of the Rcpp library
> and package (it was forked by Dirk Eddelbuettel and is now effectively
> part of R core development). Incidentally, the README file for
> Rcpp 0.6.7 shows that my contributions and influence were not
> confined to the period 2005-2006.
>
> A look at the change history of Rcpp would quickly reveal that to be
> fair other authors of Rcpp (and perhaps other R package authors)
> should have their contributions qualified with "a small portion of the
> code",
> or "administered by", but this is precisely the kind of monitoring that
> inspired Richard Stallman to say we must "chuck the masks" in the
> GNU Manifesto.
>
> It is obviously a great benefit for the R community to have Rcpp actively
> supported by the R core team. I am very grateful for this. What I do
> have a problem with is the fact that my contributions are disparaged
> by people who have benefited from my past work.
>
> It seems to me that there are two possible resolutions. First, if my
> name is used in the Rcpp package it should be used to provide fair,
> accurate, and courteous acknowledgement for my past contributions.
> Second, if this is not possible, then my name should not be used at all.
> If the second option is selected then the only place my name should
> appear is in the copyright ("deputy") notices.
>
> Incidentally, the fact that the word "copyright" is profoundly misleading in
> the context of GPL is not a new idea, and the word "copyleft" is
> sometimes used instead. But copyleft is not used in source files
> because this would unlink GPL from the well-established legal
> framework associated with "copyright", making it more difficult for
> the FSF to enforce its principles (the critical link is provided by
> the copyright holders or "deputies").
>
> A final clarification: authors of original works do retain a legal
> copyright on  their original work in the sense that they are free
> to modify this work and release it as non-free software (or
> under a different free license), but this has no effect on the
> version that was released under GPL. The latter version and
> all of its progeny belong to the public (or to the FSF from
> a legal point of view).
>
> Please feel free to express your opinion on these matters.
>
> Thanks,
> Dominick
>
> [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>

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Re: GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Sean O'Riordain
Good morning Dominick,

I don't use the Rcpp package and have only the vaguest notions of its
history.

One of your requests is that your name might be removed from the project as
you no longer wish to be associated with it.  However, I suspect that it is
simply not legal to remove your copyright notice once the project has been
distributed.  The only way this could happen is if the project is completely
rewritten from scratch by people who have not worked on the project using a
'clean-room' methodology - this seems quite unlikely.

Just a thought,

Kind regards,
Sean O'Riordain
Dublin

On 2 December 2010 04:29, Adrian Dragulescu <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Dominick,
>
> I don't use the Rcpp package but I have been aware of the changes made to
> the package over the years.
>
> I don't see what you are after.  I don't consider the mention about your
> contribution in the authors section disparaging in ANY way.  It seems
> reasonable that as the code base grows, your initial contribution to have a
> smaller and smaller share.  That's all it says.  If you would start
> contributing again to the package development, I'm sure that line can be
> changed.  Romain has gone from 0% to a sizeable share in a quick period with
> some great contributions.  Other authors seem to find a way to contribute to
> the project too.
>
> If it's peer recognition you're after, everybody on this list is already
> aware that you're the original developer of the package.  I personally still
> have a good memory so I don't need another reminder email on this topic.
>
> I'm sure there are other projects that you can work on, alone or with
> collaborators, that would benefit the R community.
>
> Cheers, Adrian
>
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, 1 Dec 2010, Dominick Samperi wrote:
>
>  This post asks members of the R community, users and developers,
>> to comment on issues related to the GNU Public License
>> and R community policies more generally.
>>
>> The GPL says very little about protecting the the rights of original
>> contributors by not disseminating  misleading information about them.
>> Indeed, for pragmatic reasons it effectively assumes that original authors
>> have no rights regarding their GPL-ed software, and it implicitly leaves
>> it up to the community of developers and users to conduct themselves in a
>> fair and
>> reasonable manner.
>>
>> After discussing these matters with Richard Stallman I think
>> we more-or-less agreed that a GPL "copyright" notice is nothing
>> more than a way to deputise people to serve as protectors of the
>> principles of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It has nothing to
>> do with protecting the "rights" or the "ideas" of original
>> contributors. There is no peer review, no requirement to
>> explain your contributions, and anybody can essentially
>> do as they please with the software provided they retain
>> the copyright/FSF deputy notice---of course, you can
>> always work-around this last restriction by modifying the
>> implementation and placing it in a new file, because
>> nobody is checking (GPL doesn't require it).
>>
>> The GPL is all about "freedom", not responsibility. It is entirely
>> focused on "deregulation", not on the protection of intellectual
>> property or professional reputations. It serves the useful purpose
>> of making great software more widely available, but it does not
>> dictate how people should behave and should not be used
>> as a moral compass.  (See recent book titled
>> "You are not a gadget: a manifesto", a rejoinder to the
>> GNU manifesto.)
>>
>> As a counterbalance I think the community of developers and
>> users need to play a more active role in the evolution of
>> shared values and expectations. In this spirit I respectfully request
>> that the R community consider the following.
>>
>> The author line of the latest release of the R package
>> Rcpp (0.8.9) was revised as follows:
>>
>> From: "based on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>>
>> To: "a small portion of the code is based on code written during 2005 and
>> 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>>
>> As it is highly unusual (and largely impossible) to quantify the relative
>> size of the the contribution made by each author of GPL'ed software, this
>> has
>> effectively changed an acknowledgment into a disparaging remark. It
>> is also misleading, because I am the original creator of the Rcpp library
>> and package (it was forked by Dirk Eddelbuettel and is now effectively
>> part of R core development). Incidentally, the README file for
>> Rcpp 0.6.7 shows that my contributions and influence were not
>> confined to the period 2005-2006.
>>
>> A look at the change history of Rcpp would quickly reveal that to be
>> fair other authors of Rcpp (and perhaps other R package authors)
>> should have their contributions qualified with "a small portion of the
>> code",
>> or "administered by", but this is precisely the kind of monitoring that
>> inspired Richard Stallman to say we must "chuck the masks" in the
>> GNU Manifesto.
>>
>> It is obviously a great benefit for the R community to have Rcpp actively
>> supported by the R core team. I am very grateful for this. What I do
>> have a problem with is the fact that my contributions are disparaged
>> by people who have benefited from my past work.
>>
>> It seems to me that there are two possible resolutions. First, if my
>> name is used in the Rcpp package it should be used to provide fair,
>> accurate, and courteous acknowledgement for my past contributions.
>> Second, if this is not possible, then my name should not be used at all.
>> If the second option is selected then the only place my name should
>> appear is in the copyright ("deputy") notices.
>>
>> Incidentally, the fact that the word "copyright" is profoundly misleading
>> in
>> the context of GPL is not a new idea, and the word "copyleft" is
>> sometimes used instead. But copyleft is not used in source files
>> because this would unlink GPL from the well-established legal
>> framework associated with "copyright", making it more difficult for
>> the FSF to enforce its principles (the critical link is provided by
>> the copyright holders or "deputies").
>>
>> A final clarification: authors of original works do retain a legal
>> copyright on  their original work in the sense that they are free
>> to modify this work and release it as non-free software (or
>> under a different free license), but this has no effect on the
>> version that was released under GPL. The latter version and
>> all of its progeny belong to the public (or to the FSF from
>> a legal point of view).
>>
>> Please feel free to express your opinion on these matters.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Dominick
>>
>>        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>>
>>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Gavin Simpson
In reply to this post by Dominick Samperi-3
On Wed, 2010-12-01 at 20:24 -0500, Dominick Samperi wrote:
<snip />

> > Just to be clear I have never used the package and am not truly
> > commenting on this particular case but only the general ideas in this
> > thread.  Also I was not suggesting that the comments in the code were
> > purposefully misleading, only that they might be misleading since they
> > could be interpreted in terms of contribution even though they are
> > stated in terms of lines of code.  The author of the phrase may very
> > well have felt that the current team had done a lot of work to add
> > design ideas and develop and promote the software but perhaps the
> > unfortunate way in how it was expressed in that phrase that came out
> > as a seeming comment on the original creator's contribution rather
> > than the intended comment on their own, presumably also significant,
> > contribution.
> >
>
> There is no reason given why this
> should happen now, at this moment, and no explanation why
> the same standard should not be applied to other package authors,
> including other authors of Rcpp.

Dominick,

You feel you are the aggrieved party so of course you will find
conspiracy in the timing. An equally plausible explanation is that the
current set of developers on Rcpp intended to alter the "contributions",
to better reflect the current state of the package, some time ago but it
slipped through the cracks.

You are predisposed to see the bad where non may exist. But also, you
should be discussing this in private with the package developers.

There is nothing in this thread of relevance to R-devel (other than to
publicly refute your claims so as to balance the record should someone
come across this in the archives) as this has nothing to do with
developing R. There is no-one here who can speak for the "R Community",
because such a thing is not a concrete entity - you will just get the
opinions of individuals. It is to the credit of this list (R-Devel) that
this has not descended into a vitriolic stream of claim and counter
claim.

As for your claims about R Core, Doug has succinctly and clearly
addressed your claims in that regard, regardless what you may personally
believe. Rcpp is *not* an official product of the R Foundation, and
neither is it part of the R distribution.

Can we please take this elsewhere?

Gavin.

> This is not about this particular case, it is about "general ideas"
> along the lines of your original post.
>
> Thanks,
> Dominick
>
>
> >
> > --
> > Statistics & Software Consulting
> > GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
> > tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
> > email: ggrothendieck at gmail.com
> >
>
> [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel

--
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 Dr. Gavin Simpson             [t] +44 (0)20 7679 0522
 ECRC, UCL Geography,          [f] +44 (0)20 7679 0565
 Pearson Building,             [e] gavin.simpsonATNOSPAMucl.ac.uk
 Gower Street, London          [w] http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucfagls/
 UK. WC1E 6BT.                 [w] http://www.freshwaters.org.uk
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Re: GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Dominick Samperi-3
In reply to this post by Sean O'Riordain
On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 2:45 AM, Sean O'Riordain <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Good morning Dominick,
>
> I don't use the Rcpp package and have only the vaguest notions of its
> history.
>
> One of your requests is that your name might be removed from the project as
> you no longer wish to be associated with it.  However, I suspect that it is
> simply not legal to remove your copyright notice once the project has been
> distributed.  The only way this could happen is if the project is completely
> rewritten from scratch by people who have not worked on the project using a
> 'clean-room' methodology - this seems quite unlikely.
>

The GPL requirement is that my name appear in copyright notices at the top
of source files in
precisely the way that it appeared in my original work. It does not require
that my name appear
anywhere else, not on author lines, not in README files, not in THANKS
files, nowhere else.


> Just a thought,
>
> Kind regards,
> Sean O'Riordain
> Dublin
>
> On 2 December 2010 04:29, Adrian Dragulescu <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>>
>> Dominick,
>>
>> I don't use the Rcpp package but I have been aware of the changes made to
>> the package over the years.
>>
>> I don't see what you are after.  I don't consider the mention about your
>> contribution in the authors section disparaging in ANY way.  It seems
>> reasonable that as the code base grows, your initial contribution to have a
>> smaller and smaller share.  That's all it says.  If you would start
>> contributing again to the package development, I'm sure that line can be
>> changed.  Romain has gone from 0% to a sizeable share in a quick period with
>> some great contributions.  Other authors seem to find a way to contribute to
>> the project too.
>>
>> If it's peer recognition you're after, everybody on this list is already
>> aware that you're the original developer of the package.  I personally still
>> have a good memory so I don't need another reminder email on this topic.
>>
>> I'm sure there are other projects that you can work on, alone or with
>> collaborators, that would benefit the R community.
>>
>> Cheers, Adrian
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Wed, 1 Dec 2010, Dominick Samperi wrote:
>>
>>  This post asks members of the R community, users and developers,
>>> to comment on issues related to the GNU Public License
>>> and R community policies more generally.
>>>
>>> The GPL says very little about protecting the the rights of original
>>> contributors by not disseminating  misleading information about them.
>>> Indeed, for pragmatic reasons it effectively assumes that original
>>> authors
>>> have no rights regarding their GPL-ed software, and it implicitly leaves
>>> it up to the community of developers and users to conduct themselves in a
>>> fair and
>>> reasonable manner.
>>>
>>> After discussing these matters with Richard Stallman I think
>>> we more-or-less agreed that a GPL "copyright" notice is nothing
>>> more than a way to deputise people to serve as protectors of the
>>> principles of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It has nothing to
>>> do with protecting the "rights" or the "ideas" of original
>>> contributors. There is no peer review, no requirement to
>>> explain your contributions, and anybody can essentially
>>> do as they please with the software provided they retain
>>> the copyright/FSF deputy notice---of course, you can
>>> always work-around this last restriction by modifying the
>>> implementation and placing it in a new file, because
>>> nobody is checking (GPL doesn't require it).
>>>
>>> The GPL is all about "freedom", not responsibility. It is entirely
>>> focused on "deregulation", not on the protection of intellectual
>>> property or professional reputations. It serves the useful purpose
>>> of making great software more widely available, but it does not
>>> dictate how people should behave and should not be used
>>> as a moral compass.  (See recent book titled
>>> "You are not a gadget: a manifesto", a rejoinder to the
>>> GNU manifesto.)
>>>
>>> As a counterbalance I think the community of developers and
>>> users need to play a more active role in the evolution of
>>> shared values and expectations. In this spirit I respectfully request
>>> that the R community consider the following.
>>>
>>> The author line of the latest release of the R package
>>> Rcpp (0.8.9) was revised as follows:
>>>
>>> From: "based on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>>>
>>> To: "a small portion of the code is based on code written during 2005 and
>>> 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>>>
>>> As it is highly unusual (and largely impossible) to quantify the relative
>>> size of the the contribution made by each author of GPL'ed software, this
>>> has
>>> effectively changed an acknowledgment into a disparaging remark. It
>>> is also misleading, because I am the original creator of the Rcpp library
>>> and package (it was forked by Dirk Eddelbuettel and is now effectively
>>> part of R core development). Incidentally, the README file for
>>> Rcpp 0.6.7 shows that my contributions and influence were not
>>> confined to the period 2005-2006.
>>>
>>> A look at the change history of Rcpp would quickly reveal that to be
>>> fair other authors of Rcpp (and perhaps other R package authors)
>>> should have their contributions qualified with "a small portion of the
>>> code",
>>> or "administered by", but this is precisely the kind of monitoring that
>>> inspired Richard Stallman to say we must "chuck the masks" in the
>>> GNU Manifesto.
>>>
>>> It is obviously a great benefit for the R community to have Rcpp actively
>>> supported by the R core team. I am very grateful for this. What I do
>>> have a problem with is the fact that my contributions are disparaged
>>> by people who have benefited from my past work.
>>>
>>> It seems to me that there are two possible resolutions. First, if my
>>> name is used in the Rcpp package it should be used to provide fair,
>>> accurate, and courteous acknowledgement for my past contributions.
>>> Second, if this is not possible, then my name should not be used at all.
>>> If the second option is selected then the only place my name should
>>> appear is in the copyright ("deputy") notices.
>>>
>>> Incidentally, the fact that the word "copyright" is profoundly misleading
>>> in
>>> the context of GPL is not a new idea, and the word "copyleft" is
>>> sometimes used instead. But copyleft is not used in source files
>>> because this would unlink GPL from the well-established legal
>>> framework associated with "copyright", making it more difficult for
>>> the FSF to enforce its principles (the critical link is provided by
>>> the copyright holders or "deputies").
>>>
>>> A final clarification: authors of original works do retain a legal
>>> copyright on  their original work in the sense that they are free
>>> to modify this work and release it as non-free software (or
>>> under a different free license), but this has no effect on the
>>> version that was released under GPL. The latter version and
>>> all of its progeny belong to the public (or to the FSF from
>>> a legal point of view).
>>>
>>> Please feel free to express your opinion on these matters.
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>> Dominick
>>>
>>>        [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________
>>> [hidden email] mailing list
>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>>>
>>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>>
>
>

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Re: [Rcpp-devel] GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Dominick Samperi-3
In reply to this post by Gavin Simpson
On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 2:51 AM, Gavin Simpson <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Wed, 2010-12-01 at 20:24 -0500, Dominick Samperi wrote:
> <snip />
> > > Just to be clear I have never used the package and am not truly
> > > commenting on this particular case but only the general ideas in this
> > > thread.  Also I was not suggesting that the comments in the code were
> > > purposefully misleading, only that they might be misleading since they
> > > could be interpreted in terms of contribution even though they are
> > > stated in terms of lines of code.  The author of the phrase may very
> > > well have felt that the current team had done a lot of work to add
> > > design ideas and develop and promote the software but perhaps the
> > > unfortunate way in how it was expressed in that phrase that came out
> > > as a seeming comment on the original creator's contribution rather
> > > than the intended comment on their own, presumably also significant,
> > > contribution.
> > >
> >
> > There is no reason given why this
> > should happen now, at this moment, and no explanation why
> > the same standard should not be applied to other package authors,
> > including other authors of Rcpp.
>
> Dominick,
>
> You feel you are the aggrieved party so of course you will find
> conspiracy in the timing. An equally plausible explanation is that the
> current set of developers on Rcpp intended to alter the "contributions",
> to better reflect the current state of the package, some time ago but it
> slipped through the cracks.
>

While we are in the housecleaning mood, perhaps the "contributions"
can be reflected even better by removing all references to my name
as I have suggested.


>
> You are predisposed to see the bad where non may exist. But also, you
> should be discussing this in private with the package developers.
>
> There is nothing in this thread of relevance to R-devel (other than to
> publicly refute your claims so as to balance the record should someone
> come across this in the archives) as this has nothing to do with
> developing R. There is no-one here who can speak for the "R Community",
> because such a thing is not a concrete entity - you will just get the
> opinions of individuals. It is to the credit of this list (R-Devel) that
> this has not descended into a vitriolic stream of claim and counter
> claim.
>
> As for your claims about R Core, Doug has succinctly and clearly
> addressed your claims in that regard, regardless what you may personally
> believe. Rcpp is *not* an official product of the R Foundation, and
> neither is it part of the R distribution.
>
> Can we please take this elsewhere?
>
> Gavin.
>
> > This is not about this particular case, it is about "general ideas"
> > along the lines of your original post.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Dominick
> >
> >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Statistics & Software Consulting
> > > GKX Group, GKX Associates Inc.
> > > tel: 1-877-GKX-GROUP
> > > email: ggrothendieck at gmail.com
> > >
> >
> >       [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
> >
> > ______________________________________________
> > [hidden email] mailing list
> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>
> --
> %~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%
>  Dr. Gavin Simpson             [t] +44 (0)20 7679 0522
>  ECRC, UCL Geography,          [f] +44 (0)20 7679 0565
>  Pearson Building,             [e] gavin.simpsonATNOSPAMucl.ac.uk
>  Gower Street, London          [w] http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucfagls/<http://www.ucl.ac.uk/%7Eucfagls/>
>  UK. WC1E 6BT.                 [w] http://www.freshwaters.org.uk
> %~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%~%
>
>

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Re: GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Liviu Andronic
In reply to this post by Dominick Samperi-3
Dear all

On Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 7:21 PM, Dominick Samperi <[hidden email]> wrote:
> The author line of the latest release of the R package
> Rcpp (0.8.9) was revised as follows:
>
> From: "based on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>
> To: "a small portion of the code is based on code written during 2005 and
> 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>
>From the info given in the thread, personally I'm sympathetic to
Dominick's complaint: the latter message is no proper way to
acknowledge the original author of the package. As I see it, the
project either:
- explicitly mentions the original author and the active (current)
contributors (and perhaps previous ones), or
- lines up all previous contributors in a line and singles out the
active contributors

But saying that the original author's contributions represented some
coding of random importance (implied in the message above), only a
subset of which made it to the current release, sounds disparaging to
my ears, too.

My humble opinion
Liviu

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Re: GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Martyn Plummer-3
In reply to this post by Dominick Samperi-3
Dear Dominick,

The R community does not have a conflict resolution mechanism.  We are
quite used to disputes that end with one party, usually a recognized
authority, saying "No, you are objectively, verifiably wrong".   We
cannot, as a group, deal with anything else.

Everybody knows that you have an acrimonious relationship with the
current developers of Rcpp (and if they don't then a cursory look at the
rcpp-devel archives will confirm this).  The issue of the acknowledgment
that you are complaining about is merely a symptom of the further
deterioration of this relationship.   Appeals to authority or public
opinion are not going to help you obtain satisfaction.

Having your free software taken up and developed by other people is not
the worst thing that can happen.  For a free software developer, the
worst thing that can happen is that they get run over by a proverbial
bus and their software dies with them.

Martyn

On Wed, 2010-12-01 at 13:21 -0500, Dominick Samperi wrote:

> This post asks members of the R community, users and developers,
> to comment on issues related to the GNU Public License
> and R community policies more generally.
>
> The GPL says very little about protecting the the rights of original
> contributors by not disseminating  misleading information about them.
> Indeed, for pragmatic reasons it effectively assumes that original authors
> have no rights regarding their GPL-ed software, and it implicitly leaves
> it up to the community of developers and users to conduct themselves in a
> fair and
> reasonable manner.
>
> After discussing these matters with Richard Stallman I think
> we more-or-less agreed that a GPL "copyright" notice is nothing
> more than a way to deputise people to serve as protectors of the
> principles of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It has nothing to
> do with protecting the "rights" or the "ideas" of original
> contributors. There is no peer review, no requirement to
> explain your contributions, and anybody can essentially
> do as they please with the software provided they retain
> the copyright/FSF deputy notice---of course, you can
> always work-around this last restriction by modifying the
> implementation and placing it in a new file, because
> nobody is checking (GPL doesn't require it).
>
> The GPL is all about "freedom", not responsibility. It is entirely
> focused on "deregulation", not on the protection of intellectual
> property or professional reputations. It serves the useful purpose
> of making great software more widely available, but it does not
> dictate how people should behave and should not be used
> as a moral compass.  (See recent book titled
> "You are not a gadget: a manifesto", a rejoinder to the
> GNU manifesto.)
>
> As a counterbalance I think the community of developers and
> users need to play a more active role in the evolution of
> shared values and expectations. In this spirit I respectfully request
> that the R community consider the following.
>
> The author line of the latest release of the R package
> Rcpp (0.8.9) was revised as follows:
>
> From: "based on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>
> To: "a small portion of the code is based on code written during 2005 and
> 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>
> As it is highly unusual (and largely impossible) to quantify the relative
> size of the the contribution made by each author of GPL'ed software, this
> has
> effectively changed an acknowledgment into a disparaging remark. It
> is also misleading, because I am the original creator of the Rcpp library
> and package (it was forked by Dirk Eddelbuettel and is now effectively
> part of R core development). Incidentally, the README file for
> Rcpp 0.6.7 shows that my contributions and influence were not
> confined to the period 2005-2006.
>
> A look at the change history of Rcpp would quickly reveal that to be
> fair other authors of Rcpp (and perhaps other R package authors)
> should have their contributions qualified with "a small portion of the
> code",
> or "administered by", but this is precisely the kind of monitoring that
> inspired Richard Stallman to say we must "chuck the masks" in the
> GNU Manifesto.
>
> It is obviously a great benefit for the R community to have Rcpp actively
> supported by the R core team. I am very grateful for this. What I do
> have a problem with is the fact that my contributions are disparaged
> by people who have benefited from my past work.
>
> It seems to me that there are two possible resolutions. First, if my
> name is used in the Rcpp package it should be used to provide fair,
> accurate, and courteous acknowledgement for my past contributions.
> Second, if this is not possible, then my name should not be used at all.
> If the second option is selected then the only place my name should
> appear is in the copyright ("deputy") notices.
>
> Incidentally, the fact that the word "copyright" is profoundly misleading in
> the context of GPL is not a new idea, and the word "copyleft" is
> sometimes used instead. But copyleft is not used in source files
> because this would unlink GPL from the well-established legal
> framework associated with "copyright", making it more difficult for
> the FSF to enforce its principles (the critical link is provided by
> the copyright holders or "deputies").
>
> A final clarification: authors of original works do retain a legal
> copyright on  their original work in the sense that they are free
> to modify this work and release it as non-free software (or
> under a different free license), but this has no effect on the
> version that was released under GPL. The latter version and
> all of its progeny belong to the public (or to the FSF from
> a legal point of view).
>
> Please feel free to express your opinion on these matters.
>
> Thanks,
> Dominick
>
> [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>
> ______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel


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Re: GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Spencer Graves-2
On 12/2/2010 6:20 AM, Martyn Plummer wrote:

> Dear Dominick,
>
> The R community does not have a conflict resolution mechanism.  We are
> quite used to disputes that end with one party, usually a recognized
> authority, saying "No, you are objectively, verifiably wrong".   We
> cannot, as a group, deal with anything else.
>
> Everybody knows that you have an acrimonious relationship with the
> current developers of Rcpp (and if they don't then a cursory look at the
> rcpp-devel archives will confirm this).  The issue of the acknowledgment
> that you are complaining about is merely a symptom of the further
> deterioration of this relationship.   Appeals to authority or public
> opinion are not going to help you obtain satisfaction.
>
> Having your free software taken up and developed by other people is not
> the worst thing that can happen.  For a free software developer, the
> worst thing that can happen is that they get run over by a proverbial
> bus and their software dies with them.

Somewhere close to the worst is that no one every uses your software.

> Martyn
>
> On Wed, 2010-12-01 at 13:21 -0500, Dominick Samperi wrote:
>> This post asks members of the R community, users and developers,
>> to comment on issues related to the GNU Public License
>> and R community policies more generally.
>>
>> The GPL says very little about protecting the the rights of original
>> contributors by not disseminating  misleading information about them.
>> Indeed, for pragmatic reasons it effectively assumes that original authors
>> have no rights regarding their GPL-ed software, and it implicitly leaves
>> it up to the community of developers and users to conduct themselves in a
>> fair and
>> reasonable manner.
>>
>> After discussing these matters with Richard Stallman I think
>> we more-or-less agreed that a GPL "copyright" notice is nothing
>> more than a way to deputise people to serve as protectors of the
>> principles of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It has nothing to
>> do with protecting the "rights" or the "ideas" of original
>> contributors. There is no peer review, no requirement to
>> explain your contributions, and anybody can essentially
>> do as they please with the software provided they retain
>> the copyright/FSF deputy notice---of course, you can
>> always work-around this last restriction by modifying the
>> implementation and placing it in a new file, because
>> nobody is checking (GPL doesn't require it).
>>
>> The GPL is all about "freedom", not responsibility. It is entirely
>> focused on "deregulation", not on the protection of intellectual
>> property or professional reputations. It serves the useful purpose
>> of making great software more widely available, but it does not
>> dictate how people should behave and should not be used
>> as a moral compass.  (See recent book titled
>> "You are not a gadget: a manifesto", a rejoinder to the
>> GNU manifesto.)
>>
>> As a counterbalance I think the community of developers and
>> users need to play a more active role in the evolution of
>> shared values and expectations. In this spirit I respectfully request
>> that the R community consider the following.
>>
>> The author line of the latest release of the R package
>> Rcpp (0.8.9) was revised as follows:
>>
>> From: "based on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>>
>> To: "a small portion of the code is based on code written during 2005 and
>> 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
>>
>> As it is highly unusual (and largely impossible) to quantify the relative
>> size of the the contribution made by each author of GPL'ed software, this
>> has
>> effectively changed an acknowledgment into a disparaging remark. It
>> is also misleading, because I am the original creator of the Rcpp library
>> and package (it was forked by Dirk Eddelbuettel and is now effectively
>> part of R core development). Incidentally, the README file for
>> Rcpp 0.6.7 shows that my contributions and influence were not
>> confined to the period 2005-2006.
>>
>> A look at the change history of Rcpp would quickly reveal that to be
>> fair other authors of Rcpp (and perhaps other R package authors)
>> should have their contributions qualified with "a small portion of the
>> code",
>> or "administered by", but this is precisely the kind of monitoring that
>> inspired Richard Stallman to say we must "chuck the masks" in the
>> GNU Manifesto.
>>
>> It is obviously a great benefit for the R community to have Rcpp actively
>> supported by the R core team. I am very grateful for this. What I do
>> have a problem with is the fact that my contributions are disparaged
>> by people who have benefited from my past work.
>>
>> It seems to me that there are two possible resolutions. First, if my
>> name is used in the Rcpp package it should be used to provide fair,
>> accurate, and courteous acknowledgement for my past contributions.
>> Second, if this is not possible, then my name should not be used at all.
>> If the second option is selected then the only place my name should
>> appear is in the copyright ("deputy") notices.
>>
>> Incidentally, the fact that the word "copyright" is profoundly misleading in
>> the context of GPL is not a new idea, and the word "copyleft" is
>> sometimes used instead. But copyleft is not used in source files
>> because this would unlink GPL from the well-established legal
>> framework associated with "copyright", making it more difficult for
>> the FSF to enforce its principles (the critical link is provided by
>> the copyright holders or "deputies").
>>
>> A final clarification: authors of original works do retain a legal
>> copyright on  their original work in the sense that they are free
>> to modify this work and release it as non-free software (or
>> under a different free license), but this has no effect on the
>> version that was released under GPL. The latter version and
>> all of its progeny belong to the public (or to the FSF from
>> a legal point of view).
>>
>> Please feel free to express your opinion on these matters.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Dominick
>>
>> [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
>>
>> ______________________________________________
>> [hidden email] mailing list
>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>
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Re: GPL and R Community Policies (Rcpp)

Dominick Samperi-3
In reply to this post by Martyn Plummer-3
On Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 9:20 AM, Martyn Plummer <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear Dominick,
>
> The R community does not have a conflict resolution mechanism.  We are
> quite used to disputes that end with one party, usually a recognized
> authority, saying "No, you are objectively, verifiably wrong".   We
> cannot, as a group, deal with anything else.
>
> Everybody knows that you have an acrimonious relationship with the
> current developers of Rcpp (and if they don't then a cursory look at the
> rcpp-devel archives will confirm this).  The issue of the acknowledgment
> that you are complaining about is merely a symptom of the further
> deterioration of this relationship.   Appeals to authority or public
> opinion are not going to help you obtain satisfaction.
>
> Having your free software taken up and developed by other people is not
> the worst thing that can happen.  For a free software developer, the
> worst thing that can happen is that they get run over by a proverbial
> bus and their software dies with them.
>

Martyn
>

I think I made it clear that I am not complaining about the fact that
software originally created by me continues to be developed by others.
I think this is a good thing. I am not complaining about GPL either.

If more people in the R community agree that the edit amounts to
a disparaging remark about an original contributor (and are not
afraid to say so publicly), then this is a good thing for the
R community, because it would discourage this kind of thing
from happening in the future, and would encourage more people
to contribute quality software.

If, on the other hand, people disagree or do not what to make
a public comment, then I have offered a simple resolution.
See option two of my original post.

Dominick


>
> On Wed, 2010-12-01 at 13:21 -0500, Dominick Samperi wrote:
> > This post asks members of the R community, users and developers,
> > to comment on issues related to the GNU Public License
> > and R community policies more generally.
> >
> > The GPL says very little about protecting the the rights of original
> > contributors by not disseminating  misleading information about them.
> > Indeed, for pragmatic reasons it effectively assumes that original
> authors
> > have no rights regarding their GPL-ed software, and it implicitly leaves
> > it up to the community of developers and users to conduct themselves in a
> > fair and
> > reasonable manner.
> >
> > After discussing these matters with Richard Stallman I think
> > we more-or-less agreed that a GPL "copyright" notice is nothing
> > more than a way to deputise people to serve as protectors of the
> > principles of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). It has nothing to
> > do with protecting the "rights" or the "ideas" of original
> > contributors. There is no peer review, no requirement to
> > explain your contributions, and anybody can essentially
> > do as they please with the software provided they retain
> > the copyright/FSF deputy notice---of course, you can
> > always work-around this last restriction by modifying the
> > implementation and placing it in a new file, because
> > nobody is checking (GPL doesn't require it).
> >
> > The GPL is all about "freedom", not responsibility. It is entirely
> > focused on "deregulation", not on the protection of intellectual
> > property or professional reputations. It serves the useful purpose
> > of making great software more widely available, but it does not
> > dictate how people should behave and should not be used
> > as a moral compass.  (See recent book titled
> > "You are not a gadget: a manifesto", a rejoinder to the
> > GNU manifesto.)
> >
> > As a counterbalance I think the community of developers and
> > users need to play a more active role in the evolution of
> > shared values and expectations. In this spirit I respectfully request
> > that the R community consider the following.
> >
> > The author line of the latest release of the R package
> > Rcpp (0.8.9) was revised as follows:
> >
> > From: "based on code written during 2005 and 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
> >
> > To: "a small portion of the code is based on code written during 2005 and
> > 2006 by Dominick Samperi"
> >
> > As it is highly unusual (and largely impossible) to quantify the relative
> > size of the the contribution made by each author of GPL'ed software, this
> > has
> > effectively changed an acknowledgment into a disparaging remark. It
> > is also misleading, because I am the original creator of the Rcpp library
> > and package (it was forked by Dirk Eddelbuettel and is now effectively
> > part of R core development). Incidentally, the README file for
> > Rcpp 0.6.7 shows that my contributions and influence were not
> > confined to the period 2005-2006.
> >
> > A look at the change history of Rcpp would quickly reveal that to be
> > fair other authors of Rcpp (and perhaps other R package authors)
> > should have their contributions qualified with "a small portion of the
> > code",
> > or "administered by", but this is precisely the kind of monitoring that
> > inspired Richard Stallman to say we must "chuck the masks" in the
> > GNU Manifesto.
> >
> > It is obviously a great benefit for the R community to have Rcpp actively
> > supported by the R core team. I am very grateful for this. What I do
> > have a problem with is the fact that my contributions are disparaged
> > by people who have benefited from my past work.
> >
> > It seems to me that there are two possible resolutions. First, if my
> > name is used in the Rcpp package it should be used to provide fair,
> > accurate, and courteous acknowledgement for my past contributions.
> > Second, if this is not possible, then my name should not be used at all.
> > If the second option is selected then the only place my name should
> > appear is in the copyright ("deputy") notices.
> >
> > Incidentally, the fact that the word "copyright" is profoundly misleading
> in
> > the context of GPL is not a new idea, and the word "copyleft" is
> > sometimes used instead. But copyleft is not used in source files
> > because this would unlink GPL from the well-established legal
> > framework associated with "copyright", making it more difficult for
> > the FSF to enforce its principles (the critical link is provided by
> > the copyright holders or "deputies").
> >
> > A final clarification: authors of original works do retain a legal
> > copyright on  their original work in the sense that they are free
> > to modify this work and release it as non-free software (or
> > under a different free license), but this has no effect on the
> > version that was released under GPL. The latter version and
> > all of its progeny belong to the public (or to the FSF from
> > a legal point of view).
> >
> > Please feel free to express your opinion on these matters.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Dominick
> >
> >       [[alternative HTML version deleted]]
> >
> > ______________________________________________
> > [hidden email] mailing list
> > https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>
>
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> This message and its attachments are strictly confiden...{{dropped:12}}

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